Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Medical Research Update

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Medical Research Update

Article excerpt

NEW TREATMENT FOR PRADER-WILLI SYNDROME APPROVED BY THE FDA

The FDA has recently issued its approval of a new form of growth hormone to treat growth failure in children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Although growth hormone therapy is not a new method for treating growth hormone deficiency, the new drag, Genotropin[TM], is the first to be approved specifically to treat PWS. The new treatment reportedly improves growth and body composition in children with PWS, stimulates skeletal growth, decreases body fat, and increases lean body mass. According to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association USA (PWSAUSA), FDA approval may also make it easier to obtain insurance or Medicaid coverage for Genotropin. Editor's note: As with any other drug, however, EP recommends consultation with a physician before beginning the treatment. For more current information on PWS, log on to the PWSA (USA) Web site at http://www.pwsausa.org; or see the July/August issue of The Endocrinologist for more information on this new treatment.

COCHLEAR IMPLANTS: EARLY IMPLANTATION MAY IMPROVE SUCCESS

For five years researchers followed the progress of 40 children who are deaf who underwent cochlear implantation at an average age of 52 months. They assessed the children for "understanding of speech in conversation without lipreading" in an attempt to pinpoint indicators of speech perception. Studies done prior to implantation showed an average of zero words/minute perceived. Five years after implantation, however, the children were 'able to perceive words at an average rate of 44.8 words/minute. Children who received the implantation at an earlier age and those who used oral communication showed even more improvement over the others. While admitting that "the outcome of pediatric cochlear implantation is characterized by its variability," Gerard M. O'Donoghue, MD, and his colleagues from University Hospital in Nottingham, England, write, "The results clearly show that young congenital and prelingually deaf children can develop substantial speech-perception abilities up to five years after implantation." The study can be found in the August 5, 2000, issue of Lancet.

COPING-SKILLS THERAPY AND DIABETES MANAGEMENT IMPROVES METABOLIC CONTROL FOR ADOLESCENTS WITH DIABETES

Researchers from Yale University's School of Nursing have shown that training young people to cope with their disease concurrently with providing strict diabetes management instruction can prove both socially and clinically beneficial to them. …

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